The First Annual Lime/Coconut IF MiniComp!

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Steven Odhner

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Oct 8, 2011, 1:24:48 AM10/8/11
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- What the heck is this?

It's a contest! You can win real money, and a stupid trophy.

- What do I have to do?

You have to design a test chamber for an Interactive Fiction game in
TADS 3. When the object you designate as the Lime is placed in the
object you designate as the Coconut, a door opens and allows the
player to leave. That's the short version, there are details in the
source code.

- That's it? Put a lime in a coconut?

In theory, yes. In practice I expect to see everything from Rube
Goldberg machines to conversation-driven puzzles. Some will be simple
but hilarious, others will be complex and devious.

- How do I enter?

1. Read through the code and think about what you would like to do.
Don't rush it.</li>
2. Allow inspiration to strike.</li>
3. Design a test chamber in TADS 3 that can be added to the bottom of
the existing code (as Testing Room 3) without breaking anything.</li>
4. Send the source code to me at sodhner at gmail by December 31st.</
li>
5. If I reply and say there's a problem with the code, try to fix it.</
li>

- Then what?

I will make each entry available to the public as compiled game files,
listed in a random order. People can play, and give each room two
ratings: Awesomeness and Difficulty. Awesomeness can be that it is
humorous, or clever, or whatever. This is the score that determines
the winner of the contest.

- Wait, what is 'Difficulty' for then?

That's because after the contest I plan on stringing the rooms
together from least difficult to most difficult. Not all rooms are
guaranteed to end up in this version - some might be too similar (in
which case the one with the higher score will get in) or maybe
everyone hates a room. Then, if this goes well, I'll do the same
contest again next year to get a new set of rooms.

- Did you say real money earlier?

I did! It's not a lot, sadly, but enter the contest anyway. First
place gets fifty dollars and a stupid trophy, and second place gets
ten dollars and a stupid certificate. If you make multiple entries,
you can't win both first and second place. The next best person who is
not you will get second place. Speaking of multiple entries, if you
send a billion entries I may ask you to pick your favorite three or
something. As an important final prize-related note: if I get less
than five humans with valid entries I will cancel and re-launch at
another time of year. Any entries sent in can be re-submitted when I
try again.

- I'm trying to do something that requires modifying the core code.

Don't do that.

- It's okay though, because it cannot possibly hurt anyone's room in
any way. This can't break the game, it can only grant it more
flexibility. I swear.

Oh. Well, I guess let me know what you want. I'm not making any
promises though. If you can do it in a stupid clumsy work-around kind
of way do that instead, and then I'll update the code with the better
way after the contest is over.

- Can I share my code prior to the voting?

That's fine but I don't want to hear anyone saying "so-and-so stole my
idea!" because quite frankly there are going to be lots of similar
ideas out there for a contest like this and I can't tell when it was
'stolen' and when it was just thought of independently. So if you are
worried someone might steal your idea, either don't share or share but
be sure that you implement your concept better than anyone else.

- Link time!

Here's the main contest page:
http://therestofyourmice.blogspot.com/p/limecoconut.html

Here's the basic source file:
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0MqnQyVyeeeNzk4ZWI3MTYtZDdmNC00Yzk5LWJjNDQtY2M3OWMxZGQxNWUw&amp;hl=en_US

Here's the TADS 3 website:
http://tads.org/tads3.htm

Here's a picture of a cat:
http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/4/21/limecatisno128532763115781250.jpg

Nikos Chantziaras

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Oct 8, 2011, 5:24:19 AM10/8/11
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On 10/08/2011 08:24 AM, Steven Odhner wrote:
> - What the heck is this?
>
> It's a contest! You can win real money, and a stupid trophy.
>
> - What do I have to do?
>
> You have to design a test chamber for an Interactive Fiction game in
> TADS 3.

Er, why only Tads 3?

Steven Odhner

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Oct 8, 2011, 9:34:23 AM10/8/11
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On Oct 8, 2:24 am, Nikos Chantziaras <rea...@arcor.de> wrote:
> Er, why only Tads 3?

Because entries will be compiled into a continuous game after the
comp. If the rooms were in different formats that wouldn't go well.

But TADS 3 is a great system, I promise.

Steven Odhner

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Oct 8, 2011, 11:03:04 AM10/8/11
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Guh. Had to make a super-minor change to the source code file. One
line (the entry event trigger in the door code) was a few lines above
where it should be, which wouldn't matter for most situations but
would make it so if you wanted to move the exit you couldn't do it
with the entry event because it would move right back. Fixed now.

Jim Aikin

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Oct 8, 2011, 11:50:28 AM10/8/11
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Nikos knows that, I expect. I doubt I'll enter, but I think this is a
great idea for a mini-comp, and encouraging a few people to try T3 is
also a great idea.

--JA

Jim Aikin

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Oct 8, 2011, 11:54:34 AM10/8/11
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Your link to the source code isn't a link to the source code. It's a
link that requests that I log in to my google account. Now, I could do
that, but I feel it's rude to expect people who don't have a google
account to create one in order to download the code.

If you don't have access to your own web storage space) which may be the
case on blogspot, I wouldn't know), email me the code and I'll stick it
up on my website so people don't have to log in to get it.

--JA

Steven Odhner

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Oct 8, 2011, 12:21:54 PM10/8/11
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On Oct 8, 8:54 am, Jim Aikin <midigur...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Your link to the source code isn't a link to the source code. It's a
> link that requests that I log in to my google account.

Hmm. I'm not sure what the problem is, I set the properties in Google
Docs to allow people to access without signing in and when I
completely log out of my Google account and click on the link I'm able
to download it without it ever asking me to sign back in. I'm not
sure what would be different about your situation.

Well, if that doesn't work for some reason try this link:
odhneruniversity.com/Lime-Coconut.t

Nikos Chantziaras

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Oct 8, 2011, 6:25:02 PM10/8/11
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On 10/08/2011 06:54 PM, Jim Aikin wrote:
> Your link to the source code isn't a link to the source code. It's a
> link that requests that I log in to my google account.

That "Sign in" link at the top is the generic Google login link. Don't
click that. Click the "Download" button instead.

Rob Bothof

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Oct 10, 2011, 9:20:14 AM10/10/11
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> - What the heck is this?
>
nice idea

Steven Odhner

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Oct 13, 2011, 9:20:27 PM10/13/11
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Someone asked about custom verbs. Those should be fine, I think most
implementations wouldn't actually conflict with other rooms even if
they want to use the same verb.

Paul Robinson

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Oct 14, 2011, 8:13:13 PM10/14/11
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On Oct 8, 1:24 am, Steven Odhner <sodh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> You have to design a test chamber for an Interactive Fiction game in
> TADS 3. When the object you designate as the Lime is placed in the
> object you designate as the Coconut, a door opens and allows the
> player to leave.

Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both together,
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better.
- Harry Nilsson, "Lime in the Coconut"

Steven Odhner

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Oct 20, 2011, 6:47:04 PM10/20/11
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Hooray, entries are starting to trickle in! Not many yet, but as the
deadline is still more than two months away that isn't surprising.

Steven Odhner

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Oct 22, 2011, 4:04:22 PM10/22/11
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Super minor update!

Someone requested that the code be changed so they could customize the
open/close messages for the door, which is super reasonable and in
fact I thought about doing it in the first place and almost did. Not
sure why I didn't then, but I did now.

As with any other code updates, this will have ZERO impact on rooms
created prior to this update. If you don't specify a message it will
default to what it always was.

Steven Odhner

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Dec 4, 2011, 9:09:05 PM12/4/11
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It's December!

That means you have the rest of this month to send in an entry to the
First Annual Lime/Coconut IF MiniComp! Right now, while a number of
people have expressed interest only a few have sent actual entries in.

WHAT THAT MEANS IF YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT ENTERING:

It means you have less competition than you may have been previously
expecting! How exciting for you! If you haven't started yet, you can
probably do something pretty cool in a month. It's possible that you
will be a little distracted due to the various holidays taking place
around this time of year, but even so I have faith in you,
hypothetical person! Get going!

WHAT IT MEANS IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ENTERED:

If I don't get more people participating, then as promised in the
original announcement the contest will be called off and no prize will
be awarded. I will re-announce the contest at some later date and
notify you via email, and you can let me know if you want to re-
enter. Your code will not be used or released in any way if there's
no contest. The details of the contest are not guaranteed to remain
exactly the same when re-announced, but are highly likely to do so.

WHAT IT MEANS IF YOU WEREN'T PLANNING ON ENTERING ANYWAY:

Nothing, really. You can just carry on with your day. But hey, since
you're reading this there must be some small spark of interest. Think
it over again, this time remembering that the odds are (at least for
the moment) pretty favorable. I mean, yeah, it won't be determined by
random so it's not just about how many people entered but don't sell
yourself short! You're talented and have good ideas, you can totally
compete with the others!

WHAT IT MEANS IF YOU ARE A LIME AND/OR A COCONUT:

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are a lime or a coconut you
can't read, or even ask someone to read this to you. In fact, most
studies indicate that neither limes nor coconuts have brains and
wouldn't be able to comprehend or participate in this contest.
Although coconuts do have some things in common with mammals. I mean,
they have fur (of a sort) and produce milk (of a sort). Anyway, I
remain fairly confident that what is needed here is a central nervous
system (of a sort). And even then, not all things with brains are up
to the task. Lemurs, for example, make terrible text adventures.
Always a "guess-the-verb" situation with those guys.

Steven Odhner

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Jan 3, 2012, 12:34:18 AM1/3/12
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It's official!

There aren't enough people in the contest. That's okay! This is
still a thing. I'm trying to decide the timeline for the next
iteration of the contest, which will be essentially identical to this
one. I don't want to give too much or too little time, or have it
overlap too much with other contests.

Any entries submitted thus far will not be released in any way. They
can be resubmitted when the contest goes live again, either with a
fresh version or a “hey, remember that entry? Yeah, that.” if you
want me to just search through my Gmail and use the old version.
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